The Bank Windhoek Indoor Hockey League reaches its climax this week when the champions will be decided.
The men and women’s Premier League titles will be determined via knockout matches where anything is possible, but if one looks at the respective league campaigns it should come down to two teams in both the men and women’s leagues.
In the Men’s Premier League, the final league match between Windhoek Old Boys (WOB) and DTS was still due to take place last night, but the result will not make a difference to the semifinal line-ups which have already been determined.
The defending champions Saints and WOB have dominated the league, finishing way ahead of the chasing pack and barring any upsets they should meet in the final.
Saints finished on top of the log on 27 points from eight matches, and could be joined by Old Boys on 27 points, if they beat DTS by a bonus point in their final league match. Saints, however, have a far better goal aggregate which will ensure that they finish on top.
The final two semifinal spots still had to be determined this week, and on Tuesday evening, Wanderers were the unlucky team to miss out when School of Excellence (SoE) edged them to fourth place on goal difference, while DTS finished third.
Wanderers had to win their final match against DTS to clinch a semi spot, but in a thrilling encounter they went down 3-2.
Nothing much separated the teams in a tactical first half of few chances, but Christopher Dalton scored from a short corner after seven minutes to give DTS the advantage.
The game exploded into life early in the second half with DTS going 2-0 ahead from another short corner goal by Adrian Gagu, but Wanderers immediately struck back with a stunning deflected goal by Tunomwaameni Epafras.
Wanderers lifted their game, with more attacks coming from Epafras, Brendan Lensen and Tiaan Grobler, but DTS weathered the storm and went 3-1 ahead when Julian Schütz pounced to put a loose ball into the net.
Wanderers struck back in the final quarter with a great solo goal by Lensen, twisting and turning his way through DTS’ defence to put the ball high into the net.
In a hectic final quarter both sides had more chances, but could not capitalise, as DTS held on for a narrow 3-2 win, to clinch third spot on the log with nine points.
In another match on Tuesday, WOB beat SoE 5-2, after pulling away in the closing stages.
After trailing 2-0 early in the second half, SoE made a fine comeback to draw level at two-all, but three goals in the final five minutes gave Old Boys a 5-2 victory.
Jandre Smit scored two goals for Old Boys and Dylan Barnard, Dylan Finch and Nico Jacobs one each, while Delron Handura and Kave Tjikuniva scored for SoE.
Despite the defeat, SoE edged Wanderers to fourth place on goal difference, after both finished on four points.
In tonight’s semifinals at the Wanderers hall, Saints will now take on SoE at 18h00, while Old Boys will take on DTS at 19h00. The final will be held at the same venue at 13h00 on Sunday.
In the Women’s Premier League it has also come down to a two-horse race between the defending champions DTS and Saints, who are the favourites to go through to Sunday’s final.
DTS remained unbeaten in the league to top the log on 28 points, while Saints finished second on 23, followed by WOB on 15 and Saints II on two points.
The semifinals between DTS and Saints II, and Saints and WOB, were due to take place last night.